Pennsylvania Online Gambling Participants Increased Nearly 5% In 2023

Written By Corey Sharp on April 15, 2024 - Last Updated on April 16, 2024
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The Pennsylvania Interactive Gaming Assessment, authored by Penn State University, announced that the amount of online gambling participants saw a significant increase last year. The report indicated that 16% of Pennsylvania adults indulge in online gambling, which is up from 11.1% in 2022.

Because of the uptick in participation, revenue, as well as problem gambling statistics, have also grown over the past year.

Keystone State shows significant rise in online gambling last year

Pennsylvania gambling had stayed relatively the same, in terms of online gambling participants in 2021 and 2022. The Pennsylvania Interactive Gaming Assessment reported 11% and 11.1%, respectively, of PA adults participated in online gambling in those years.

The number has risen to 16%, which helped the state achieve $5.51 billion in gaming revenue for the FY 2022/2023.

According to the press release, here are other findings in the report:

  • Those that gamble both offline (retail) and online (dual-mode) gambled once a week, while offline-exclusive gamblers played two to three times per month.
  • Dual-mode gamblers spent almost 15 hours per month gambling, while offline gamblers spent about 1.5 hours per month gambling.
  • On average, gambling expenses per month were higher among dual-mode gamblers at $708 versus offline gamblers at $103.
  • About one-quarter of dual-mode gamblers earned less than $50,000 annually, and these individuals engaged in the highest number of gambling formats.
  • The average age of dual-mode gamblers was 37 with the majority having earned a bachelor’s degree and currently employed.
  • Sports betting was the most popular online gambling format.

Lead author of the report and Penn State Abington assistant professor of criminal justice, Glenn Sterner, said:

“As we see increased revenue and advertising for online gambling, this report serves as a way for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to understand the potential impacts on individuals, families, and communities.”

As more participants rise, so does problem gambling in Pennsylvania

Despite record revenue figures, it comes at the expense of more Pennsylvanians facing problem gambling addictions. About 36.7% of online gamblers admitted to at least one gambling problem in 2022. The 2023 report rose to 40.7%.

However, 50.7% of the gamblers who partake in both online and offline gambling reported at least one gambling problem. Offline gamblers experienced the fewest gambling problems, only 16.4% admitting to at least one issue.

The Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) have problem gambling prevention and treatment top of mind for those in the state. DDAP Secretary Dr. Latika Davis-Jones said in a statement:

“Being aware of the current online gambling trends in Pennsylvania will help DDAP in its mission to assess and address how gambling behaviors impact compulsive and problem gambling within the Commonwealth. It will also help us to spread awareness that treatment and resources, like the 1-800-GAMBLER helpline, are there when someone needs help.”

Treatment and tools are provided in Pennsylvania to help gamblers face their addictions. Luckily, the study showed that 75% of online gamblers and 81.4% of offline gamblers were successful in treating their problem gambling. However, 57.8% of dual gamblers reported successful treatment.

Pennsylvania has come a long way in the gambling space, offering online casinos, sports betting and poker. Yet, it still has a long way to go in treating those who will battle addictions moving forward.

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Corey Sharp

Corey Sharp is the Lead Writer at PlayPennsylvania bringing you comprehensive coverage of sports betting and gambling in Pennsylvania. Corey is a 4-for-4 Philly sports fan and previously worked as a writer and editor for the Philadelphia Inquirer and NBC Sports Philadelphia.

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